Silicone rubber is one of the most widely used materials in the converting industry. It’s rare, if not impossible, to not come across silicone daily. This inorganic elastomer is ubiquitous in the converting landscape for several reasons.
First off, silicone rubber is one of the most customizable products in the rubber industry. Silicone rubber can be customized to meet a number of different specifications. These specifications include but are not limited to: AMS-3305 (80A), AMS-3304 (70A), AMS-3303 (60A), AMS-3302 (50A), AMS-3301 (40A), ZZR-765, A-A-59588, 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, AMS-3306, AMS-3307, AMS-3332. These specifications differ in properties that can range from low temperature resistance to high tear strength.
While the amount of specifications display the ease in which silicone rubber can be customized for physical properties, color is not typically a limiting factor. Silicone rubber can be dyed to a number of different colors other than the standard rusty red that many in industry are familiar with. In addition, silicone rubber is offered in durometers ranging from 15 Shore A to 90A. Silicone rubber is commonly used in food & medical applications because of its ability to be customized to be able to meet FDA CFR 21 177.2600, and USP Class 6 respectively. These unique properties offered by silicone rubber are an indication of why silicone is used in so many different applications.
Another reason that silicone rubber is ubiquitous in the converting industry is due to countless products that utilize the versatile rubber. Some common products that use silicone rubber include gaskets, o-rings, window & door seals, electrical insulation, and even slurpee machines. Silicone rubbers use in industry is a product of its incredible range of properties. The industries that use silicone range from medical to aerospace applications.
Silicone rubber properties are perhaps the primary reason it is used in numerous applications. These properties include a long shelf life, high/low temperature resistance, great electrical properties, fungus resistance, as well as fantastic ozone and weathering resistance. While silicone rubber has a plethora of beneficial properties, this is not to say it does not have limitations. Some limitations include poor fuel resistance, low tear/abrasion resistance, low resistance to concentrated acids, and high gas permeability. However, despite some drawbacks of silicone rubber, the benefits are still significant. With some of the most versatile properties offered by silicone, the cost-to-benefit ratio is fairly good.
NEDC offers a number of manufacturing/converting services for silicone rubber. These services include molding, die-cutting, waterjet-cutting, and extruding. In addition, NEDC offers splicing services for long developed lengths parts. For more information on silicone rubber, or if you think you may have an application that could utilize it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.